-Kentucky Farm to School Program
Farm to School in Kentucky is like a puzzle. Having many exciting and interesting shapes to it, putting all the pieces together will create a beautiful picture. As like with any puzzle it is ever changing and growing with each piece that is laid into place. School Gardens, FFA chapters and other partnerships such as Kentucky Action for Healthy Kids, PACS NOW all play a major roll in moving the program forward.
There are many successes that Kentucky has already achieved. There are now 74 schools
systems to earn the Kentucky Proud seal. School cafeterias, which fall into the same category as restaurants may be reimbursed up to $12,000.00 a year for purchases of
Kentucky Proud products under the Restaurant Rewards program through the Kentucky
Department of Agriculture. Pilot projects with local orchards and meat producers have
proven very successful. Participation has increased when local foods are served and
especially when the children grow the food themselves.
Three counties were chooses last year to receive our Farm to School mini grant through
DPH Farm to School Task Force of $5000.00 to promote the three C’s (cafeteria,
community and classroom). This year we will be taking application again for the mini
grants awarding ten.
Kentucky was chosen out of the South-Eastern region to be a host site to the USDA Farm
to School Task Force. The USDA team went to two school districts, Jefferson Co and
Montgomery Co. reviewing their Farm to School program. After all of their site visits
they plan to give a report on the Farm to School programs across the nation aiding in the FAQ’s.
Currently being developed by the University of Kentucky Nutrition Education Program
and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture is the Farm to School curriculum targeting
High School students. The disconnect between our children and their food is staggering
and the curriculum will enable them to understand sourcing their food and how important
the job of a farmer is to our community.
Commissioner Farmer declared October 9-15 2011 to be Farm to School week in
Kentucky. Food Service Directors across the state will be able to showcase their schools
and support of Farm to School.
Many positive events are happening in Kentucky and again they are ever changing and
growing making this a wonderful program for the communities in this state. We are
looking forward to the growth of Farm to School in the future.